Eugene shared the wonderful news from Rome with his Oblate family in France:
My dear brothers, on February 17, 1826, yesterday evening, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XII confirmed the decision of the congregation of Cardinals and specifically approved the Institute, the Rules and Constitutions of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, and accompanied this solemn act of his pontifical power, with most admiring words for those who happily form this Society from which the head of the Church indeed expects the greatest good.
Everyone is stupefied at this. Even those called upon to contribute with their votes to the execution of the very emphatic will of the Pope, are surprised by the unanimous agreement of views and especially with the imperturbable resolution of the Holy Father, whom nothing has been able to deter from the first thought with which the Holy Spirit inspired him on the first day that I knelt at his feet and presented to him the plan of this enterprise which now we can call divine…
The conclusion to be drawn from this, my dear friends and good brothers, is: we must work, with renewed ardour and still more total devotedness, to bring to God all the glory that stems from our efforts and, to the needy souls of our neighbours, salvation in all possible ways; we must attach ourselves heart and soul to our Rules and practice [more] exactly what they prescribe to us…
… In the name of God, let us be saints.
Letter to the Oblates, 18 February 1826, EO VII, n. 226
This blessing has continued to bear fruit for 195 years. Our last General Chapter witnessed this:
“On October 7, 2016, at the gathering of Chapter members with the Holy Father, the message he delivered and his presence with us created a holy encounter. We experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Everyone was filled with immense love for the Congregation and with hope and joy for our future. That visit with Pope Francis made me relive the words our Founder penned on August 15, 1822 referring to “…our dear Society. It seemed to me that what I saw, what I could put my finger on, was that within her lies hidden the germ of very great virtues, and that she can achieve infinite good; I found her worthy, everything pleased me about her, I cherished her rules, her statutes; her ministry seemed sublime to me, as it is indeed. I found in her bosom sure means of salvation, even infallible, such is how they looked to me” (Selected Texts p. 119). These words of Saint Eugene bless us today.”
Father Louis Lougen OMI, Superior General